How Many Brothers and Sisters Did Jesus Have?
When it came to Joseph and Mary’s household in Nazareth, who was there? Are we to believe that Jesus was an only child in the family, or if there were brothers and sisters, what was their status in regard to Him? His siblings and sisters are frequently mentioned by the gospel authors. What were the names of Jesus’ siblings? This is a matter that has been debated since the beginning of time, and many lengthy writings have been published on the subject. Due to theological reasons related to the perpetual virginity of the Lord’s mother, denominational difficulties, and the canonicity of non-apostolic epistles, it has been difficult to have an objective discussion on the subject.
Bible Verses about Jesus’ Brother and Sisters
Let us begin by summarizing what we know about the brothers and sisters of the Lord from the Scriptures of the New Testament. Their names are found in Matthew 12:46-50, 13:55-56, Mark 3:31, 6:3, and Luke 8:19, as well as John 2:12, 7:3, Acts 1:14, and 1 Corinthians 9:5, and Paul refers to a James the Lord’s brother (Galatians 1:19). There appear to have been four brothers who are listed in Matthew 13:55: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, according to the evidence (seeMark 6:3). The sisters are mentioned in Matthew and Mark, although neither the number nor the names of the sisters are recorded.
They were reportedly married and living in Nazareth at the time of Christ’s death.
They are first described as traveling to Capernaum with His mother and Himself (John 2:12).
Most claim that they were converted to Christianity as a result of His resurrection, since they appear in the company of the Apostles (Acts 1:14).
The following is an adaptation of The Life of Our Lord on the Earth by Samuel James Andrews.
How many siblings did Jesus have?
QuestionAnswer Two verses in the Bible provide us with information on Jesus’ brothers and sisters. “When he returned to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were astounded.” Matthew 13:54–57 states that the people were amazed. What they wanted to know was, “Where did this man receive this intelligence and these incredible powers?” ‘Isn’t this the son of the carpenter? What if his mother’s name is Mary, and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas aren’t named the same as him?
- ‘So, where did this man obtain all of these things?’ I wondered.
- ‘The brother of James,’ according to Jude 1:1, is the epistle’s author and subject.
- It is likely that both James and Jude (Judas) were among the group of siblings who were initially humiliated by their elder brother’s bold notoriety and then came to take Him home to their parents (Matthew 12:46).
- However, after seeing Jesus’ resurrection, His siblings became devout followers of the Lord.
- Another school of thought holds that the allusions to Jesus’ siblings merely relate to the fact that Joseph had children of his own prior to his marriage to Mary.
- Both theories, on the other hand, lack scriptural foundation, and there is no logical reason to assume that the siblings identified by name in Scripture were not the biological children of both Mary and Joseph.
Questions about Matthew (return to top of page) How many brothers and sisters did Jesus have?
Did Jesus have any brothers, sisters or siblings?
Throughout history, there has been great debate about the precise nature of their link to Jesus and his apostles. Consequently, the issue remains: Did Jesus have siblings? There have been three main points of view put forward: They have been identified as (1) Jesus’ actual siblings/brothers, that is, half-brothers, sons of Joseph and Mary (and therefore younger than Jesus); (2) His stepbrothers, that is, children of Joseph by a previous marriage (and thus all older than Jesus and not His blood relatives at all); (3) Jesus’ cousins, either on the mother’s side or on the father’s side, depending on who you believe.
Where exactly was Jesus’ birthplace?
Three views about Jesus’ siblings
Some adhere to the first viewpoint, arguing that it is the most natural way to interpret the multiple allusions to these brothers, as well as the most evident intention of Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:7. Second, those who believe in family ethics claim that younger siblings should not be permitted to mock or otherwise interfere with an older brother in the same way that Jesus’ brothers ridiculed Him (see Mark 3:31; John 7:3-4). Moreover, they argue, Jesus’ decision to entrust His mother’s care to the apostle John (John 19:26-27), rather than to one of His brothers, clearly shows that Mary did not have any other children.
Their relationship as cousins on Mary’s side is predicated on the unconfirmed identification of “Mary, the wife of Cleophus” with Mary’s sister (John 19:25; Mark 15:40), as well as the unsubstantiated relationship between “Clopas” and Alphaeus (John 19:25; Mark 15:40).
Jesus’ brothers, sistersmother
Several of Jesus’ siblings are reported as joining him and his mother to Capernaum following their marriage at Cana (Matthew 19:9). (John 2:12). The next year, Mary and these brothers are mentioned as attempting to have an audience with Jesus (Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21). A few chapters before the conclusion of Jesus’ public career, His brethren are recorded as asking Jesus to demonstrate His Messiahship, which they themselves had questioned (John 7:3-5). Their conversion is obvious from the fact that they are portrayed in Acts as joining with the disciples and others in “prayer and supplication” before to the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–3).
Paul makes the implication that they were all married (1 Corinthians 9:5).
Also widely held to be the case is that James the brother of Jesus was the spiritual leader of the early church in Jerusalem (see Acts 12:17; 15:13).
How many siblings did Jesus have?
Although there is no Bible scripture that specifically lists the names of all of Jesus’ siblings, we may conclude from the book of Mark that He had at least six of them: “What do you mean, the carpenter who is also the son of Mary, as well as a brother of James and Joses and a brother of Judas and Simon? What’s more, aren’t his sisters present with us?” (See also Mark 6:3; Matthew 12:46; and Matthew 13:53–58). Based on this text, we know that Jesus had at least four brothers, and the term “sisters” is plural, indicating that He had at least two sisters, if not more, according to the Bible.
- Each author contributed to a book of the Bible.
- (Galatians 1:19).
- It has been hypothesized that the Greek terms adelphos (“brothers”) and adelphai (“sisters”), which we see referenced in Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:54–56 to describe Jesus’ siblings, are also used in a spiritual sense to refer to brothers and sisters in general.
- Joseph may have had more children from a prior marriage, according to this hypothesis.
- On the basis of reasoning, Jesus’ actual siblings, who were described in the Gospels of Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:54–55, were also Mary and Joseph’s biological offspring.
What happened to Joseph during Jesus’ adolescence? What do we know about the historical Jesus, the one who lived and died? Who exactly is Jesus? What were the most significant events in Jesus’ life? What is the identity of Jesus Christ? Return to the page: The Truth About Jesus Christ.
How many brothers and sisters did Jesus have?
What was the total number of brothers and sisters that Jesus had? I’m aware that James was His younger brother.
Despite the fact that the New Testament informs us that Jesus had four brothers, it does not provide information on how many sisters He had. Isn’t this the carpenter’s son, or something? Isn’t His mother, Mary, and his brothers, James and Joseph, as well as Simon and Judas, all named Mary? And His sisters, aren’t they all here with us as well? (NASB) The Bible says in Matthew 13:55-56:
James was Jesus’ first sibling, and he was born in Bethlehem. According to the apostle Paul, he was a member of the apostles’ group. I did not, however, see any of the apostles other than James, the Lord’s brother, and that was a disappointment. The church in Jerusalem was led by him, and he was its spiritual leader (Acts 12:17; 15:13). We also think that this brother was the author of the book of James in the New Testament.
James was the eldest of Jesus’ brothers. According to the apostle Paul, he was a member of the apostles. However, except from James, the Lord’s brother, I did not see any other apostles. The church in Jerusalem was led by him as its spiritual head (Acts 12:17; 15:13). The book of James, according to tradition, was written by this brother.
We don’t know anything about this sibling of Jesus’s background.
This brother goes by the name of Jude as well. He was not the betrayer Judas Iscariot. We assume this brother is the author of the book of Jude because he refers to himself as James’ brother in the book. A bond-servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, Jude is a man of faith who. (NASB) Jude 1The heart of this guy is revealed in the book of Jude. He was making an effort to maintain his religion. He was a devout Christian who devoted his life to God.
It is revealed in Scripture that His brothers did not believe in Him in the outset. not even His brothers were believing in Him at the time of His death. (NASB) 7:5 (John 7:5) Did they all come to trust in Jesus in the end? We don’t know what to say. However, the Bible does disclose that at least two of Jesus’ brothers were Christians: James, who was an apostle, and Jude, who was a disciple. Scripture doesn’t provide us with any further information on His other brothers and sisters, either.
I’m curious when the notion in Mary’s everlasting virginity first gained traction. God is being sought after.
Did Jesus Really Have Half-Siblings?
Jesus had at least four brothers, according to Matthew 13:55: James, Joseph (sometimes referred to as Joses), Simon, and Judas. James was the oldest of the brothers (also referred to as Jude). Matthew 13:56 indicates that he had at least two sisters, which is consistent with the plural form of the word “sister.” Despite the fact that the Greek term for “brothers” and “sisters” does not necessitate that someone be a blood related, it is most likely that these six persons are the offspring of Joseph and Mary and half-siblings of Jesus, according to tradition.
Why Is This Question So Controversial Among Christians?
Mary’s eternal virginity is at the heart of this debate, which has raged for more than two centuries. It is possible that Mary is eternally a virgin, in which case Jesus would have no biological relations. This offers the potential of Jesus having half-brothers and sisters if Mary remained a virgin until the birth of Jesus, but then began having sexual intercourse with her husband Joseph afterward. Because of Jesus’ virgin birth, Joseph was not his biological father, therefore they would act on his behalf as step-siblings.
In the first place, it is important to note that Jesus’ siblings were offspring of Mary and Joseph after Jesus was born (referred to as the Helvidian view).
Third, they were first cousins of Jesus, which was a great honor (the traditional Roman Catholic view).
It is true that the Greek terms for “brothers” and “sisters” can be difficult to distinguish from one another, but there existed a word for “cousin” in the Bible.
It is interesting to note that they are never referred to as Jesus’ cousins throughout the New Testament or the first two centuries of Christian history, which is surprising.
Why Are There Objections to Jesus Having Half-Brothers?
The dogma of Mary’s permanent virginity is the primary source of opposition to Jesus having half-siblings in the first place. From the early church through the Reformation, this idea was embraced by a large number of people. It is Matthew 1:25 that is important since it says, “but (Joseph) did not have sexual contact with her until she gave birth to a son.” “And he gave him the name Jesus” (CSB). In this case, the term “until” is at the core of the debate. This term signifies the conclusion of a span of time in a chronological sense.
Matthew 2:15 states that they remained in Egypt “until Herod’s death” (CSB), which is the identical term that is used in Matthew 1:25 and Matthew 2:13 as well.
The New Testament states that Mary remained a virgin until the birth of Jesus, but it makes no mention of whether or not she continued to be a virgin beyond this time.
Early Christian writings such as the Gospel of Peter (which was not actually written by Peter), the Protoevangelium of James (which was not actually written by any James in the New Testament), and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (which was not actually written by the Apostle Thomas), all of which date from the second century, appear to support this point of view.
There isn’t enough information to make a definitive determination on whether or not these youngsters are Mary’s biological offspring.
In the passage cited above, Matthew 1:25, it appears to indicate that Mary only remained a virgin until the birth of Jesus.
The way this line is written establishes a stronger connection between Mary and Jesus’ half-brothers than it does with Joseph.
In fact, Joseph (Mary’s husband) isn’t even mentioned by name in the text. As a result, these are most likely Mary’s offspring, as well as Jesus’ half-brothers and half-sisters.
What Do We Know about the Half-Siblings?
James was the most well-known of Jesus’ half-brothers and sisters. James the son of Zebedee, the brother of John, is not to be confused with the person named James here (seeMatthew 4:21). According to Acts 12:2, James the son of Zebedee was killed at a young age in the history of Christianity. A number of times in the New Testament, Jesus’ half-brother James is mentioned by name. Besides the passage from Matthew 13:55, we know that Mary and Jesus’ brothers (most likely included James) went to Jesus when he was ministering to the people (Matthew 12:46;Mark 3:31;Luke 8:19-20).
- Because the terms “brothers” and “disciples” are distinct, it is most likely that these are the sons of Mary, half-brothers of Jesus, and most likely include James as well.
- Clearly, the term “brothers” does not apply to persons who are members of Jesus’ society but are connected biologically, as the passage above indicates.
- According to the evidence, James turned to Christianity sometime after the events of John 7 and before the events of Acts 12.
- In Galatians 1:19, the apostle Paul refers to James as Jesus’ brother.
- Most evangelical academics think that the Letter of James was written by Jesus’ half-brother, James (seeJames 1:1).
- There is less information available concerning Jesus’ other half-siblings.
- They are mentioned in 1Corinthians 9:5 in the context of traveling gospel ministers: “Don’t we have the right to be accompanied by a believing woman, just as the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas did?” (CSB).
James’ brother, Jude, asserts himself to be the author of the book, who is most likely the half-brother of Jesus.
While several hypotheses for the identification of Jude have been advanced, none of them appear to be more plausible than the possibility that he is Jesus’ half-brother.
Even though they claimed to be farmers in the vicinity of Rome, the veracity of their narrative has been put into question.
The controversy over whether or not Jesus had half-siblings is inextricably linked to the dogma of Mary’s eternal virginity, which is discussed below.
Joseph and Mary had at least six children following the birth of Jesus, according to the most logical interpretation of the biblical narrative, including at least four males and at least two girls.
Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/MichaelTruelove.
Croteau (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Professor of New Testament at Columbia International University, as well as Associate Dean and Director of the Ph.D.
The following books are among his many publications: Urban Legends of the Old Testament (co-authored with Gary Yates, B H, 2019), Urban Legends of the New Testament (B H, 2015),Tithing After the Cross (Energion, 2013), and You Mean I Don’t Have to Tithe (Energion, 2013). (Pickwick, 2010).
Did Jesus Have Brothers and Sisters?
The marriage of God and Mary that resulted in the birth of Jesus was the outcome of a supernatural union. At the time of Jesus’ conception, she was still a virgin. Some believe that Mary was a virgin during her whole life, and that this is correct. According to this interpretation, Jesus would have been an only child. The Scriptures, on the other hand, reveal that Jesus had siblings and sisters of his own. Matthew’s Statements Earliest and foremost, the first chapter of Matthew provides the first evidence that Mary was not a virgin after the birth of Jesus.
- He had never had sexual intercourse with her and was well aware that the child was not his biological child.
- And he didn’t know her until she gave birth to a son, whom he called Jesus, according to what we’re told later (Matthew 1:25).
- As a result, this verse presents a compelling case against any notion of Mary’s permanent virginity.
- While he was still speaking to the throngs of people,.
- His assertions caused the people in His hometown of Nazareth to get enraged, we are informed on yet another occasion.
- “And aren’t his sisters here with us?” I inquire.
- There are three possible solutions to the mystery of who Jesus’ brothers and sisters are.
- There are three possible outcomes to consider.
- As a result of a prior marriage, there were children born to Mary and Joseph after Jesus was born, resulting in His younger brothers and sisters (natural half-brothers and sisters)
- These were the offspring of Joseph from that previous marriage (step-brothers and sisters). This was the point of view of Epiphanius, a fourth-century supporter of Mary’s everlasting virginity who held this belief. It was also the point of view of the classical scholar Jerome at the time. The famous scholar Joseph Barber Lightfoot, among others, has defended this point of view in modern times, stating that they were cousins of Jesus rather than genuine brothers and sisters. They were the sons of Cleopas, who was purportedly Joseph’s brother or brother-in-law
- They were the sons of Cleopas
- And they were the sons of Joseph.
The manner in which they are labeled is one of the reasons why some people feel they were not the offspring of Joseph and Mary. According to Mark 6:3, Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Mary,” and he is distinguished from the other named brothers as well as the other female siblings. In the Upper Room, There Was a Dispute Among those present in the upper chamber were “Mary, Jesus’ mother, and. his brothers” (Acts 1:14). They were referred to as Hisbrothers rather than her sons in this context.
SummaryJesus had four brothers and at least two sisters, according to the gospels.
Though no one can be certain of the facts, it is reasonable to assume that the allusions to his younger brothers and sisters were made by him in the context of his genuine younger brothers and sisters.
Later on, however, they rose to prominence as church leaders, with two of them (James and Jude) penning letters that were eventually included in the New Testament as a result of their efforts.
However, there is no way to know for definite. What is known, however, is that the Bible does not rule out the possibility that Jesus had siblings and sisters who were born to Joseph and Mary, as some scholars believe.
Did Jesus have brothers and sisters (siblings)?
Yes! Both brothers and sisters are mentioned by name in the Bible as belonging to Jesus. Because Joseph was younger than Jesus, they would all have been younger than Jesus “had no sexual relations with her (Mary) until she became the mother of a son And he gave Him the name Jesus as a result ” (Matthew 1:25). They were born after Jesus, as a result of the marriage of Mary and Joseph, who were both Jesus’ mother and earthly father at the time of His birth. As a result, they were legally his half-blood siblings, as they had a common mother, but Jesus’ actual Father is God in Heaven (Luke 2:29).
Biblical Evidence of BrothersSisters
It is recorded in the Scriptures that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to visit Him while He was teaching (Matthew 12:46; Luke 8:19; Mark 3:31). The identities of his four brothers are revealed in Matthew 13:55: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, to mention a few. James is also identified as a sibling of Jesus in Galatians 1:19. In Acts 1:14, the mother and brothers of Jesus are mentioned as being among those who prayed with the disciples. Jesus’ sisters are mentioned in Matthew 13:56, albeit they aren’t given a number or a name.
He was well aware that the Jews desired to have Him killed, but the moment had not yet arrived for this to occur, so Jesus remained in Galilee.
The Controversy of Cousins
Several scholars argue that Jesus’ brothers were actually His cousins, based on the fact that the Greek term for “brother” may refer to other relatives in specific cases. However, while there is a distinct Greek term for “cousin,” that word was never employed in any of the allusions to Jesus’ siblings in the New Testament. Aside from that, if Mary wasn’t their mother, it wouldn’t make logical that they would be placed in attenance with her on a regular basis. In the biblical context, there is nothing that suggests that they were anything other than Jesus’ real, blood-related half-brothers.
In contrast to this, the Bible does not present any proof to support this claim.
- Several scholars argue that Jesus’ brothers were actually His cousins, owing to the fact that the Greek term for “brother” may refer to other relatives in specific cases. Despite the fact that there is a distinct Greek term for “cousin,” that word was never used in connection with any of Jesus’ siblings. It would also make little sense if Mary was not their mother to have them placed in attenance with her on such a regular basis. Nothing in the scriptural context suggests that they were anything other than Jesus’ real, blood-related half-brothers and half-siblings. Another point of contention is that Jesus’ siblings were all Joseph’s offspring from a prior marriage, according to one interpretation. However, there is no evidence to support this claim in the Bible whatsoever. If Joseph and Mary had additional children with them before Jesus was born (as many as six more), it is logical that they would have been mentioned during Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-7), later during their journey to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15), or their journey back to Nazareth (Luke 2:4-7). (Matthew 2:20-23). The Bible clearly states that Jesus had younger half-brothers and half-sisters, all of whom were natural offspring of Joseph and Mary, and that we may be certain that Jesus did in fact have these younger siblings.
Both brothers and sisters are mentioned by name in the Bible as belonging to Jesus. It is likely that they were all younger than Jesus because Joseph “had no connection with her (Mary) until she gave birth to a son, whom he named Jesus,” according to the New Testament (Matthew 1:25).
They were born after Jesus, as a result of the marriage of Mary and Joseph, who were both Jesus’ mother and earthly father at the time of His birth. As a result, they were legally his half-blood siblings because they had a common mother, but Jesus’ actual Father is God in Heaven.
Writer/Editor: Catiana N.K.
Cat is the web producer and editor for 412teens.org. She has a background in journalism. She enjoys listening to audiobooks, cooking for the people she cares about, and illuminating a place with Christmas lights. Catiana likes spending time with her two teenage children, five socially awkward cats, and her incredible friend-family when she is not writing, cooking, or sketching.
How Many Brothers and Sisters Did Jesus Have?
Is it possible that Jesus had siblings and sisters? If so, how many did he have on hand at the time? Was Mary a virgin or a devout Christian?
Despite the fact that Jesus was born to a human mother and had brothers and sisters, His Father was divine. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit through His mother Mary, and as a result, Jesus did not have a human father, but rather was conceived by the Spirit of God. Jesus was likewise the first born in His family, and as a result, according to Old Testament custom, He was entitled to the birthright, which consisted in being the first born and in receiving the biggest piece of the family inheritance; but, in Jesus’ case, He has inherited everything.
Jesus Brothers and Sisters
Matthew 12:46 (KJV) “While he was still speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers approached him from outside, requesting to speak with him.” The Bible says in Matthew 13:55-56: “Isn’t this the son of the carpenter?” Isn’t his mother’s given name Mary? And aren’t his brothers James and Joseph, as well as Simon and Judas, all present? “And why aren’t all of his sisters here with us?” His brothers told him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your followers may witness the deeds you are doing.” John 7:3-5 “His brothers told him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples can see the works you are doing.” Because no one works in secrecy if he wishes to be recognized publicly.
In the text, there is nothing to support the popular belief that these were just cousins, but rather that they were His blood relations, half-brothers, and sisters, all of whom had the same mother, Mary.
Despite the fact that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father, Mary was the mother of all seven of her children, among them was Jesus himself.
The Virgin Mary gives Birth to Jesus
Given that the Scriptures make it abundantly plain that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:34), we may be assured that Jesus’ mother Mary had never been in a relationship with a man prior to the conception of Jesus and prior to the birth of Jesus. Mary had never been in a relationship with a man before getting pregnant with Jesus, and this is a proven truth.
Was Mary a Virgin?
Matthew 1:24–25 (KJV) Joseph awoke from his slumber and followed the instructions of the angel of God, who instructed him to take his wife but not to know her until she had given birth to a son. “And he gave himself the name Jesus.” Joseph, who was betrothed or engaged to Mary, was distraught when he discovered that Mary was pregnant. He wanted to secretly or privately divorce her because to announce it publicly would put her in front of the public and make her into an open spectacle. However, Joseph and Mary had other children after Jesus was born, making it impossible for Mary to remain a virgin.
Nothing wrong with Mary “knowing” Joseph after Jesus was born, and there is nothing wrong with Mary not being a virgin after Jesus’ birth for sex within the sacredness of marriage as long as it is done for the greater welfare of the union. Following Jesus’ death and resurrection, multiple Scriptures make it very obvious that He had siblings and sisters, and that they came to place their confidence in Him as the result of His death and resurrection. It is believed that Jesus was the first born in His family and that Mary was a virgin at the time of Jesus’ conception and birth, but it is also believed that he had six half-brothers and sisters.
What I’d like to know from you is whether or not you have been reborn (or literally “born from above”), as Jesus stated that one cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless they have been reborn (John 3:3).
a natural death, but will afterwards have eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus, who died for your sins (John 3:16-17). If you do not, you will be sentenced at this very moment (John 3:18).
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out:What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Currently, Jack Wellman serves as pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane, Kansas. Jack also serves as the Senior Writer for What Christians Want To Know, a website whose aim is to equip, encourage, and excite Christians, as well as to answer concerns regarding the believer’s daily walk with God and his or her relationship with the Bible. For more information, you can follow Jack on Google Plus or read his bookBlind Chance or Intelligent Design, which is available on Amazon.
Did Jesus have brothers and sisters?
The lone kid is frequently given a negative reputation. People who grow up without siblings are often stereotyped as entitled and self-important, and this is especially true among those of us who have at least one sibling or two of our own to compare them to. Even though Jesus appears to have behaved as if he were an only child at times in the gospels, all four of the gospel writers make some mention of his brothers and sisters. As recorded in Mark, a large group of people confronted Jesus and said, “Isn’t this the carpenter?
- Isn’t he the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
- When a throng assembled to hear Jesus speak is informed that “your mother and your brothers are standing outside, yearning to see you,” Jesus famously dismisses them, saying, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it” (8:19-21).
- After the virgin birth of Jesus, another fourth-century theologian, Helvidius, wrote that Mary had additional children with her husband, Joseph, which sparked the first documented debate between St.
- However, according to St.
- These children of Mary, according to Jerome, were descended from Mary of Clopas, Jesus’ aunt and his mother’s sister, thereby making them cousins of the Savior himself.
- Advertisement In addition, Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis and a contemporary of Jerome and Helvidius, drew attention to another alternative.
- When it comes to the birth of Jesus, Joseph is never mentioned, leading some to conclude that he was considerably older than Mary and that he died before Jesus began his public career.
- This is not the first time that this has been suggested.
- In their writings, the New Testament writers did not provide a clear picture of what first-century Christians believed about Mary’s virginity after the birth of Jesus, if they provided any details at all.
- This article is also accessible in Spanish for those who prefer to read it that way.
This story first published in the December 2013 issue of United States Catholic (Vol. 78, No. 12, page 46). Do you have a question you’d like to have addressed? Inquire with us at [email protected]! Advertisement Image courtesy of Flickr user Nicole O’Neil Photography.
What Happened to Jesus’ ‘Brothers’?
Sign up for Christianity Today and you’ll gain instant access to back issues of Christian History! A number of “brothers and sisters” are referenced in the Gospels, but only James and Jude are mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament—James as the leader of the early church in Jerusalem, and Jude in the brief epistle that bears his name. See “Mary” for a potential meaning of “brothers and sisters.” According to the Gospel of John, Jesus’ family was first doubtful of his mission: “Even his brothers did not believe in him,” the Gospel reads.
At the Jerusalem Council, James, the eldest of Jesus’ brothers, made the decision that Gentile Christians did not have to follow traditional Jewish rules.
Some believe he led an austere lifestyle, and it has been stated that he spent so much time in prayer that his knees “were like those of a camel.” According to Jewish historian Josephus, James was stoned to death by Jewish religious authorities.
It is unknown if this James or someone else was the author of the epistle that bears his name.
The other disciples
Following the Gospels, the disciples are only briefly mentioned in the New Testament. We have only legends to go on for more specifics, some of which are questionable. Andrew, Peter’s brother, is said to have preached in Asia Minor, Thrace, and Greece before being crucified on an X-shaped cross, according to a tenth-century story. He was recognized as the founder of the church in Constantinople, and he may have had a connection to the development of written language. Congratulations, you have reached the conclusion of this Article Preview.
Subscribers get complete digital access to the content.
Sign in to get complete digital access.
The Brothers of Jesus: Loving the Unbelieving Relative
“The Brothers of Jesus: Loving the Unbelieving Relative,” a publication from the Society of Jesus. The Ensign, March 1987, page 50 For many of us, we have a father or mother, a husband or wife, a brother or sister, a son or daughter who does not believe in the faith that we hold so dear. However, despite the fact that many sympathetic and useful lectures have been delivered on how to best manage this issue, I have never heard one that sought to explore how the Savior dealt with it in his own family.
- But even from the few instances that have been recorded, as well as from the end consequence of Jesus’ labors with his family, we may gain a great deal of insight.
- The names of the sisters have not been recorded, but the brothers were known by the names James (in Hebrew, Jacob), Joses (in Hebrew, Joseph, after his father), Simon, and Judas or Juda (in Hebrew, Juda) (also known as Jude).
- 13:55; see also Matthew 13:55).
- Although there is no biblical proof for this, it is widely believed.
- Immediately following the wedding at Cana (which, based on the roles played by Mary and Jesus at the feast, was almost certainly a close relative’s wedding), the entire family traveled with Jesus and his early followers to neighboring Capernaum, where they resided for a short period of time.
- “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee,” writes the gospel writer Luke, describing the Savior’s first missionary journey: “And there went out a reputation of him throughout all the surrounding region.
- When he made his accusations, the crowd grew so enraged that they attempted to throw him from the cliff.
- (See Luke 4:16–30 for further information.) In spite of their exposure to his words and acts, “neither his brethren believed in him,” according to the sad fact of the situation.
- He screamed, “A prophet is not without respect in his own nation, and among his own kin, and in his own house,” despite the fact that he had established himself as a prophet and healer whose reputation had become well known across the area because of the Nazarenes’ sarcastic attitude.
- On one occasion, his mother and brothers interrupted a gathering in which he was preaching the gospel, and we may have caught a glimpse of it.
“Then his mother and brothers came to him, but they were prevented from approaching him because of the press.” And he was informed by a source who stated, “Thy mother and brethren are waiting outside, yearning to meet thee.” And he responded by saying, “My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (See also Luke 8:19–21.) Some people have interpreted Jesus’ remarks as being harsh.
Although his family did not fully comprehend it at the time, the Savior knew what they did not: that the bonds of faith and covenant are stronger than the bonds of blood, and that his role as eldest son in the family, which they respected, was insignificant when compared to his role as Savior and Redeemer.
Abinadi taught the following about the Christ who would come: “When his soul has been offered as a sacrifice for sin, he will behold his seed.” And now, what are your thoughts?
all those who have heeded their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a forgiveness of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed.” (See Mosiah 15:10–11 for more information.) At Calvary, the Savior’s sadness and anguish at the betrayal of his earthly brethren were portrayed in a far more profound way.
- She also had four more boys, but none of them appeared to be around to console her.
- Only his lover John was with her at the time.
- It is necessary to follow the lives of the Savior’s brothers after the Crucifixion before we can think about what we can gain from his or her experience.
- (See 1 Corinthians 15:5–7 for further information.) We do not have access to the specifics of that reunion, but we do have access to the results.
- Their repentance resulted in them becoming dedicated followers of Christ—their oldest brother being the most prominent—and eventually great leaders in the early Christian church.
Luke then offers the following telling observation: “These all remained in prayer and supplication with one accord, with the women, and with Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Read Acts 1:13–14 for more information.) Having finally done so, the brothers of the Lord had taken upon themselves his name and had really become members of his family!
Indeed, Paul suggests that James was elevated to the position of Apostle.
“I went up to Jerusalem to meet Peter, and stayed with him for fifteen days,” he wrote of the event.
(See Galatians 1:18–19.) At another point in time, during a period of harsh persecution, Herod assassinated James the brother of John and imprisoned Peter in jail.
As soon as they finished recounting his escape, Peter commanded them to “go and shew these things unto James and to the brothers.” (See Acts 12:7–17 for further information.) A few years later, Paul and Barnabus traveled to Jerusalem to participate in a meeting that addressed Jewish criteria for gentile Christians.
(See Acts 15:6–31 for further information.) According to Paul, “James, Cephas, and John, who appeared to be pillars” were there at the time of the occurrence.
We hold James’ general epistle to the church in high regard, regardless of his precise position in the early church leadership.
(See James 1:5) In that epistle, he refers to himself not as the Lord’s brother, but as “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,” as opposed to “the Lord’s brother.” (See also James 1:1.) In spite of the fact that others called him and his brothers Jude, Simon, and Joses the “brethren of the Lord,” James was reluctant to proclaim his particular kinship, preferring to be recognized simply as a servant of Christ.
- Another of the four brothers begins his epistle with the words “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,” which is identical to the first.
- One of Jude’s most outstanding traits is his acute awareness of his elder brother as both the past and future Lord—the Lord who took Israel out of Egypt and who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the Lord who would return in the final days to execute vengeance on everyone.
- The apostle Jude fought alongside Peter and Paul against the increasing flood of heresy that threatened to bring the church to its knees during his own lifetime.
- What immense delight there must have been in heaven, and especially for the Savior, when these four brothers, each of whom repented, were welcomed into the kingdom of God.
- A family has never before faced the difficult task of accepting the fact that a close member has turned out to be the Saviour of the world.
- Moreover, just as Jesus of Nazareth loved sincerely and well, every disciple may love with hope and patience, just as Jesus did.
- Above all, we must never, ever give up on ourselves.
As it may be for our Jameses and Judes, our Sauls and Almas, and all of their female counterparts, the same may be true for us. In a personal and intimate way, Jesus himself suffered in order to be able to succor those who are also in need of assistance. (See Heb. 2:18 and Alma 7:12 for examples.)
How to Respond When People Say Jesus Had Brothers and Sisters
From the early days following the Resurrection, the Church has held that Mary was a perpetual virgin and that Jesus did not have any biological brothers or sisters, as was traditionally thought. The carpenter, son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, is this not the carpenter, and are his sisters with us?” “Are his sisters among us?” —Matthew 6:3 Is it possible that Jesus had siblings and sisters? Some people believe that the Gospel of Mark appears to support their claim.
- The subject is brought up once more in Luke 8:19-21.
- “Your mother and brothers are gathered outside, waiting to meet you,” the mob exclaims loudly.
- “Can you tell me who my mother and brothers are?” he inquires.
- On his blog, biblical historian James Tabor provides the names of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon, as well as Mary and Salome, according to some sources.
- So where did Catholics obtain the concept that Mary never had sexual relations or had any other children of her own?
- What is your brother’s name?
- We Christians are all “brothers in Christ,” as the phrase goes.
- The same is true in the Scriptures as well.
Consider the following verse from Genesis 13:8: For this reason, Abram replied to Lot, “Let us not have any quarrels among ourselves or between your herders and mine, for we are brothers.” Despite the fact that Abraham and Lot are not biological siblings, the title “brother” is used to describe them since they are uncle and nephew.
Without a doubt, Paul was not attempting to make the assertion that Mary had given birth to more than 500 children!
What occurred to the Twelve following the Resurrection of Christ is known to us from the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, as well as from historical documents.
We know how they died, and we know where they are laid to rest.
Nope, not a thing, zilch.
As he lay dying, Jesus handed Mary over to John the Baptist.
And then he turned to face John and said, “Behold your mother.” And it was at that point that the disciple welcomed her into his house (John 19:26-27).
And wouldn’t they have taken on the task of caring for their mother by welcoming her into their own homes?
Another clue: The “brothers” of Jesus mentioned in John 2:1 and Acts 1:14 are never referred to as Mary’s offspring, despite the fact that Jesus himself is.
There is yet more reason, though, to conclude that Mary did not have any further children after Joseph and Mary.
Consider the promise made by Jesus, who said that he would send the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, to lead his Church and keep her safe from error.
However, we do have Christ’s promise that he would be with us forever, until the end of time.
Mary was thought to be a perpetual virgin from the very beginning of the Church’s belief in the Resurrection, and Jesus was believed to have no biological brothers or sisters from his birth.
Saint Joseph was an elderly widower with children, according to the Protoevangelium, and he had been selected by the angel Gabriel to be Mary’s spouse in order to care and protect Mary while also observing her vow of virginity.
Many people in the Orthodox Church now consider this to be true as well.
383 wrote: “You assert that Mary did not continue a virgin: I claim even more than Joseph himself, on account of Mary being a virgin, so that from a virgin marriage a virgin son was born.” And in the following century, Pope St.